Bayyinah Bello

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Bayyinah Bello (born 1948)[1] is a Haitian historian, teacher, writer and humanitarian worker, who in her earlier career spent 15 years living and travelling in West Africa, including four years in Nigeria, as well as in Benin, Togo,[1] and other countries in the region.[2]

Now based in Port-au-Prince, she is the founder of an organization for historical research called Fondation Marie-Claire Heureuse Félicité Bonheur Dessalines, popularly known as Fondasyon Félicité (FF), named after Marie-Claire Heureuse Félicité Bonheur Dessalines the Empress consort of Haiti and wife of revolutionary leader of Haiti Jean-Jacques Dessalines.[2][3] In the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the non-profit organization Friends of Fondation Félicité was set up to directly support FF, focusing on rebuilding the country.[4] She is also a professor of history at the State University of Haiti.[5]

Biography[edit]

Bayyinah Bello was born in Port-au-Prince.[6] After completing her primary education in Haiti,[1] she went at the age of 12 to join her father in Liberia. She subsequently studied in France and in the US, returning to the African continent to study in Nigeria, where she earned a master's degree in linguistics, among other qualifications.[1] In 1969 she went back to the US, where she worked as a publicist and in the evenings taught French, and after the birth of her first child in 1970 she wrote her first story for children. She went on to have three other children, her sons being Hashim, Siddiq, Akil [7] and her daughter Ameerah Bello.[1] Returning to Haiti, she taught at the university and also founded a bilingual school, Citadel International School.[1] She subsequently taught English and Arabic in Togo.

In 1999 she decided to start an organization dedicated to humanitarian, social and educational work to aid the people of Haiti. It was named Fondation Marie-Claire Heureuse Félicité Bonheur Dessalines, usually shortened to Fondation Félicité (FF), in honour of the wife of Jean-Jacques Dessalines, who was a slave first, learned to read and write, then began to teach, working for the liberation of the country, and ultimately lived to be 110 years.[3] Soon after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the Friends of Fondation Félicité was set up, an associated not-for-profit organization that is helping Haitian people to rebuild their own country, and raises funds for grassroots projects on the island.[4]

In April 2014, Professor Bello was one of 10 honorees at the Gala des Femmes en Flammes that celebrated Haitian women "whose lives and professional work have paved the way for a better Haiti".[8] As a leading historian, she regularly lectures and participates in international conferences, speaking on Haitian topics,[9][10][11] including a recent keynote speech in Brooklyn, New York, at the Stanley Eugene Clark Elementary School for a Women's History Month celebration in March 2015.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Bayyinah Bello (Biography)", Les Productions Yole Dérose.
  2. ^ a b Sokari, "Interview with Haitian Historian Bayyinah Bello", BlackLooks, 29 March 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Interviews: Earthquake Survivors Tell Their Story", Friends of Fondation Felicite, 2010.
  4. ^ a b "Birmingham charity continues to help Haiti one year on", BBC Birmingham, 12 January 2011.
  5. ^ a b Lamont Muhammad, "Professor Bayyinah Bello keynotes Women’s History Month program", Amsterdam News, 2 April 2015.
  6. ^ "Earthquake in Haiti - Bayyinah Bello Interview - Part 1 - Tremblement de Terre" (interview by Nana Kimati Dinizulu, 2 February 2010). YouTube.
  7. ^ About Akil Bello.
  8. ^ "Gala des Femmes en Flammes (1st Edition) at Karibe, April 12, 2014...". Reve d'Or Tours.
  9. ^ "Bayyinah Bello's Women's History Month keynote gets rave reviews" Archived May 29, 2015, at the Wayback Machine., Haiti Sentinel, 2 April 2015.
  10. ^ Ancestral Connections, 23 January 2010.
  11. ^ "Jean-Jacques Dessalines by Prof. Bayyinah Bello". YouTube.

External links[edit]